Johannesburg – Having lost to Orlando Pirates earlier in this year’s tournament, Al-Ahly coach Mohamed Youssef is adamant Orlando Pirates will be in for a completely different type of encounter when the teams meet in the second and deciding leg of the CAF Champions League final in Cairo next weekend.
Youssef was speaking after Ahly walked away with a valuable away goal in Saturday night’s first leg 1-1 stalemate at Orlando Stadium, where veteran midfielder Mohamed Aboutrika had put the visitors ahead early in the first half, before Thabo Matlaba scored an equaliser in the last minute of additional time.
“The upcoming game will be completely different,” Youssef said through a translator after the game in Soweto.
“Pirates will have the courage to attack more in Cairo, we will also attack, this will come naturally because both teams want to win the cup.” The Buccaneers had already played Ahly twice in this year’s competition prior to Saturday’s tie, and claimed a convincing 3-0 victory in Egypt, before ending in a goalless draw in South Africa.
Youssef, however, explained that Ahly had played the game away from their own stadium – the 75 000-seater Cairo Stadium – and in extreme temperatures during the day, something Pirates could not bargain on happening again in the final.
“They came to us and beat us 3-0, this (the final) though will be a different game,” he said.
“The first game was played at 2.30pm, it was 40 degrees and it was played not even at our ground, the final though will be totally different because we are playing in the evening and at our own ground,” Youssef said.
Asked about Matlaba’s late goal, Youssef said it was a factor that meant the seven-time African champions would have to work even harder to claim a result next Sunday.
“The guys played hard till the end maybe this (goal) is even better, it will force us to work much harder and prepare better for the return leg in Cairo.”
One incident Youssef was not pleased about was a 50th minute disallowed goal, after the linesman ruled that Ahmed El-Zaher’s strike was scored from an offside position, though television replays suggested the striker was clearly and safely onside.
“It was not offside. It was a goal. The assistant rejected a true goal,” he said. – Sapa